Encryption Methods for Database Backups

You take a long time and effort to accumulate most of the data and systems which support your business’ operations. This effort and time might, however, all be washed down by some form of disaster.

More often than not, this is a natural disaster that will destroy the IT infrastructure in your property. Nowadays, however, many companies have had their entire data wiped by hackers. Offsite backup storage is hence a crucial element in every company’s disaster recovery plan.

An agency based in the US offering IT solutions has several options for the backup of your files and software for easy retrieval in case anything affects your primary data. You should, however, remember that this means you are allowing third-party access to what should be confidential information.

Other than working with a trustworthy IT agency, you should take extra measures to keep your data safe from people who might use it maliciously. The ideal choice is to encrypt your files. This denotes the process of encoding your files before they are sent to offsite storage.

The following are the encryption approaches used for data backup.

Software Encryption

Here, you will have a backup application to handle the encryption of your data before uploading it to an offsite backup center. The primary advantage of software encryption is that the key and encryption management are both contained in the backup system.

Software encryption might, unfortunately, be slow based on your available resources. Moreover, there might be a heavy processor load on your backup system, and the data will not be compressed thus taking up too much storage space.

Appliance-Based Encryption

Here, in-band encryption of your data will take place over a wire connected to dedicated encryption and backup appliance. This results in faster encryption and transfer of your data without overloading your servers.

In most cases, the data in appliance-based encryption systems will also be compressed in-line before its encryption. Appliance-based encryption might, however, have high maintenance and repair costs more so if the appliance’s developer does not offer continued support.

Drive-Based Encryption

This is found in modern back-up tapes which have an in-built ability to encrypt the data as it is copied on them. Drive-based encryption will compress the data before its encryption, is faster and will not slow down your systems. Its key management might, however, become an issue if you use this option for long-term data storage.

Automatic Encryption

Woman using the laptop

This is a new technology that involves software which enables your data to be automatically encrypted when transferred to a disk provided it is not decrypted on the way.

Though convenient, automatic encryption does not compress data and its key management can be tricky. Moreover, it might slow down your network.

With the above available options, then why aren’t all companies encrypting their data before backup? It is because encryption is cumbersome to manage and execute over time even with the right techniques.

Moreover, you might lose your keys and render the whole process useless since you will not decrypt your data. Fortunately, there are now IT agencies which can handle the backup, encryption and key management of your data to guarantee a secure backup.